The Internet Archive is located in a former church in San Francisco, so there's more than enough room for all the people and hardware. Two main projects are currently taking place; one is the Wayback Machine, which makes snapshots of websites throughout history, and the other is the Archive, which represents systematic digitalization of movies, music and books, manually done by its members. A never-ending task that can only be done by activists who genuinely want to protect the knowledge of mankind, and you can contribute to the effort as well.
During our tour, 2.5 petabytes (that's 2.5 million gigabytes!) of data was mentioned, but I'm not sure if that's just one of the projects or both. This data is well protected, with mirrors all over the world. Impressive stuff, good enough to currently make archive.org the 223rd most visited site in the world (according to Alexa), get to the front page of The New York Times, and receive various prestigious awards.
One of the most fascinating stops of my Silicon Valley trip was indeed educational and inspiring, and it got me thinking: If there's a modern Library of Alexandria in the making, this would be it. Thumbs up.
Internet Archive's Headquarters in San Franscisco. It goes well with the logo, even though they came here only a few years ago.
The staff meeting, where members from various fields presented their achievements
Everyone that is an employee for more than 3 years, gets its own figure inside the church
Brewster Kahle, the chairman, passionately presenting the Archive's servers. There is no air condition, since heat is used for building heating.
The irony: since consumer hard disks are cheaper, they buy those and get rid of the casings.
This is how scanning of videos, microfilms and books looks like
Are we there yet?
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